'Sad and tired' Wairarapa marae to get makeover

8:40 pm on 8 December 2017

A "sad and tired" rural marae in the Wairarapa will soon be revitalised as a new social housing development nears completion, a project manager says.

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The six-house sub division and papakāinga near Carterton. Photo: Supplied

The six-house sub division and papakāinga, 10km east of Carterton, has cost Hurunui o Rangi Marae around $1.7 million with funding support from Te Puni Kokiri.

Project manager Henare Manaina said the homes would provide affordable living for their people and help revive the once thriving marae.

"Our marae is looking a wee-bit sad and tired at the moment and if we're going to build a marae then we need something there for people to actually come back to besides the marae.

"It was a really thriving community back in the late forties, we want to revive that, we want to bring papakāinga back to Hurunui o Rangi.

"It's about bringing people back to their tūrangawaewae, and it's about invigorating and reviving what was once there."

The papakāinga development process began in August 2015 when the marae committee and kaumātua were invited to visit a papakāinga development in Hastings by the Aorangi Trust.

Mr Manaina said everyone was utterly impressed.

"It was quite funny actually because when we first got up there we only had an address and it was in a particular road and we saw this flash housing development but we didn't think that was it, so we carried on up the road.

"Of course, we turned around, and we thought it must be it. Our kuia that were with us were very impressed in terms of the healthy, warm, social housing it provided for whānau and fell in love with them."

Mr Manaina said two years on he was pleased to see the papakāinga come to life and now it's in its final stages.

He said the tenant selection process was ongoing and further discussion would determine how much it would cost to live in the papakāinga.

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